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Readers' Letters

Recycle empty housing

PUBLISHED: 15:59 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 08:56 21 July 2010

HACKNEY Council encourages us to recycle our trash. It argues, rightly or wrongly, that recycling our trash helps the environment, but the most valuable resource of all – housing which is not occupied – is not recycled...

HACKNEY Council encourages us to recycle our trash. It argues, rightly or wrongly, that recycling our trash helps the environment, but the most valuable resource of all - housing which is not occupied - is not recycled.

On the contrary, the council prefers to spend our money to ensure that empty housing remains empty and homeless people remain homeless.

I never met the people who squatted in the house by Clissold Park in Queen Elizabeth's Walk, but I heard good things about them. They did nobody any harm and had a positive effect on the residents.

With no immediate plans for this house, the council had absolutely no reason to kick out these people. They were, after all, recycling this property.

Now it is again empty - and they are again homeless. Where is the sense?

The council has an almost endless pot of our money to use to make people homeless and keep empty properties empty.

Some of this money is invested in companies which make and supply arms and torture equipment to repressive regimes.

Probably more than £300,000 per year of our money goes on the council's so-called newspaper, which virtually none of us wants or needs.

Getting back to squatting, these reactionary bigots in the council would do well to study what happened in the country from 1945 to 1947 when nearly 100 million people recycled empty properties by squatting them - thereby averting a terrible social disaster.

Hackney and all other councils should have a duty to ensure that all empty properties are occupied so long as anybody is homeless.

They should be required by law to licence and take a social rent and council tax from anybody who squats any property which has been empty for more than three months and for which there are no immediate plans.

Squatters should be seen as the public servants they really are. To have properties stay empty month after month and year after year while many thousands are on the council waiting list and have no real chance of getting rehoused is nothing short of criminal.

Dr Harry G Moss,

Manor Road,

Stoke Newington.


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